Tips you guys have learned over the years welcomed!

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As the title states, what are some things you guys have learned that you wish you would have known when you started? Any advice, tips, tricks, suggestions are welcome for a novice flyer. I own a phantom 4 adv but the advice can be general to the hobby. I have found hard lessons for me/others can be great teaching moments. I have basic knowledge of flying cheap drones as a basis.


Looking forward to flying my first phantom. Before I do that im learning all I can to be prepared for any situation in case of fly away or crazy things. Couple great ideas so far is read manual and dive into the archives which working on now.

Thanks for any input!
 

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As the title states, what are some things you guys have learned that you wish you would have known when you started? Any advice, tips, tricks, suggestions are welcome for a novice flyer. I own a phantom 4 adv but the advice can be general to the hobby. I have found hard lessons for me/others can be great teaching moments. I have basic knowledge of flying cheap drones as a basis.


Looking forward to flying my first phantom. Before I do that im learning all I can to be prepared for any situation in case of fly away or crazy things. Couple great ideas so far is read manual and dive into the archives which working on now.

Thanks for any input!
Best advice I can render is read the manual at least twice. Watch videos. Learn everything you can about your drone before flight. How it works, what the buttons do, how to activate Return to Home. Understanding the controls may save you from a serious crash.

Once you feel confident, find an open field for practicing. Stay clear of trees, buildings, people. And have fun!
 
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Great advice guys. Sounds like a little common sense goes a loooonnnggg way with keeping safe and mostly crash free.

Do you guys have anyone in particular good to watch videos of? The year 2020 seems to be the year of everyone wants to be famous. Rather learn from professionals(experienced moreso) than someone that may be teaching bad habits.

I appreciate all the advice. You guys are the hidden wealth in a forum for sure.
 
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Great advice guys. Sounds like a little common sense goes a loooonnnggg way with keeping safe and mostly crash free.

Do you guys have anyone in particular good to watch videos of? The year 2020 seems to be the year of everyone wants to be famous. Rather learn from professionals(experienced moreso) than someone that may be teaching bad habits.

I appreciate all the advice. You guys are the hidden wealth in a forum for sure.
Depends on what you're flying.
 
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Plan your flight environment in detail. The ground, elevations, obstacles, wires in particular, people, weather, your position - make the view of all planned flight territory, position of the sun! Don't fly into the sun and avoid returning into the strong wind! Don't fly if the drone can not maintain at least 7-10 m/s against the wind at least 50 m high and test this close to you in a safe place.
 
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wires in particular
This "wire scan" @Andy9 mentions for pre-flight steps is one I'll elaborate on, to express the importance.

I always try to look around the area I'm flying with binoculars for wires. You'll find wires in some of the most unsuspecting places, even across remote bays in Hawaii. Wires are everywhere. You would think being 150' in elevation would be above any wires, but not in Hawaii, where I found one small wire strung across high over Honolua Bay in Maui. Fortunately I barely missed it while ascending vertically, straight up. I missed it by about 2'. I almost pooped my pants when it came into view. I was in disbelief what I was seeing over the ocean. But I had launched from 1/4mi away, and didn't take the binoculars to Maui.

1589902658209.png


Many folks here fly FPV BVLOS (this is technically illegal) because of the range and easy flight characteristics of the craft. If you ever do that, it's high risk flying over 15mph BVLOS (unless you know the area) under 250' AGL because most folks can't react fast enough for approaching wires going faster. There is a 200ms delay in the video you see on your screen, so you are closer to things than you actually see when flying forward. At 15mph that 200ms delay equals a little over 4'. If you are flying 30mph, that's about 9' closer to things than what you're seeing in the screen. Add on top of that your reaction time to stop. For most pilots that aren't expecting wires, that reaction can be 2 seconds, or another 44' (at 30mph). So the question is, can you see a wire that's 53' away (30mph), or 26' away (15mph). It really depends on wire thickness.

Once you realize all this, you start to fly slower when BVLOS, depending on your altitude. Sometimes it takes losing a craft to learn this specific situational awareness. I have a really good pair of 10X binoculars that are small enough to fit in my backpack. Although I don't always use them, I try to before launching at any new location. I look for wires as well as poles and towers. Sometimes I can see the pole or tower, but can't see the wires that I know they possess.
 
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There are many great and equally important tips but I think the biggest one is NEVER start a new flight without a fully charged battery. Its ok to land part way thru a flight and take off again but do not power off the aircraft. The aircraft expects to start with a fully charged battery and calulates battery vs flight time based on continuous current draw. Those calculations arent always accurate when starting with a partially charged battery and could fool you into thinking you have more flight time than you actually do. Starting with a fully charged battery in good condition will give you accurate numbers for battery % and flight time left.
 
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Once you have Home Point recorded & GPS green, go make sure camera is level and go up slowly & do a slow rotation around your area (meaning Rotate the drone) & make note of the obstacles around you.
See what altitude you need to be to clear any trees, buildings wires etc. and set your RTH- Return to Home altitude HIGHER than that.
I use the criss hairs and Grid view on screen to see when my center point clears those obstacles.
Closest trees nearby are 80-90', set your RTH to 120'....
 

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